Art and wings in the heart of Hoxton

If you don’t, I’m an east London girl. Well, adopted, that is. 

Many years ago I left SW crying on the front seat of a moving van, clutching a box containing my most precious shoes towards east London. I never looked back and now I can say E is definitely home.

Amongst the (maybe many) bars I go to, the Hoxton Square Bar does hold some find memories of my ex (yes, very fond) so I was delighted to be invited back as they have seen quite a few changes since I last visited.

Currently, the bar is dressed in the beautiful Chanovsky “RGB Universe” exhibition, on until 29th June 2019. The artist presents on the wall three different artworks, that can be seen when the light changes to red, green and blue (get it?), so it makes for great surroundings.

Now, I had the cheeky Don’t go to Dalston cocktail, which is so fresh with raspberries and lime, made with my favourite tipple, vodka, and topped with prosecco.

So good I stuck to it, but there’s a whole menu of cocktails priced £9 and £9.50, as well as the usual bar fare – beers from and wine from £4.70 (bottle) and £4.80 (pint) and wine from £4.90 a glass and £20 a bottle.

To eat, Orange Buffalo serves up a filling selection of food. You can of course, have their speciality, chicken wings, with 7 sauces to choose from. Legend has it a person fainted after having it, so proceed with caution.

Being the wimp I am, I went for the Sgt. Slawter burger (£8.50) – succulent breadcrumbed chicken thigh on a potato bun, with cheese and, well, a mild sauce.

It was so filling and I couldn’t stop eating even though I should’ve! And of course, on the side, their home curly fries (£3.50), which I may say, are deliciously crunchy and extremely flavoursome.

Service was great and fast – although they don’t do table service, ordering and receiving the order was very smooth. And you can book tables.

My friend had the vegan option, the cauliflower “wings” (£8) – battered cauliflower served with hot sauce, coriander, sesame seeds and slaw and she approved!

There’s also a gorgeous veggie burger on offer and if mine is anything to go by, I think it’s a winner!

Oh, and they have a photobooth – £3 for 2 prints and you can email the image over – and it has a wind machine!

Adjacent to the back of the bar, there’s a live music area, where they hold at least one live gig a week and during the weekend it turns into a club! 

Hoxton Square Bar also has a private events room, the Green Room, with a bar and DJ booth, which holds around 100 people.

I hear they are going through a bit refurb in the summer, so doubtless will be even better!

Get yourself down for a basket of wings and to check the exhibition before the end of June. You can check out what’s on on their website.

written by Dani

You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: this is an AD as the experience on the evening was GIFTED. This review, however, is based on my experience and reflects my honest opinion.

A little London haven

Agua. In my mother tongue, something I cannot live without and if I had my way, I wouldn’t go without the agua Spa, at the newly renamed Sea Containers London hotel in London.

Beside the fact it’s my favourite hotel – it has a great restaurant, an amazing growing floor bar facing the river, a cracking rooftop bar and a gorgeous cinema, the agua Spa really lives up to the rest of the family.

Delighted does not even describe when I was invite to sample one of their treatments and their delightful spa menu.

I experienced the hot oil manicure which is great to help improve the condition of nail that may have been a bit neglected.

The 55-minute treatment combines nourishing organic oils from Dr. Jackson’s which soften the cuticle and moisturise nails. Then, using Japanese techniques, nails are buffed so the nutrients go deep into the nail bed.

It is great for nails that have been damaged by gel application, polish changes, health conditions or medical treatment, as it helps restore them to health and no polish is needed for up to two weeks.

This picture was taken 5 days after the mani and it still looks perfect – shiny and pink!

The hot oil treatment is available for pedicures too (I am tempted to have one as my toe nails are indeed in need of post-winter hibernation TLC), and is priced from £50 (off peak, £55 peak).

Treatments take place at the fabulous Glamour Room within the spa, an area that can also be hired for pamper parties – birthdays, hen do and other celebrations. They offer a great range of treatments and packages.

Which leads me to the menu. What a fab food and drink menu to help take relaxation to another level!

I tried the delicious Immunity (£10) and Energy (£15) booster bowls and could not have enough of the tasty, fresh goodness in them. However, the star was the scrumptious salmon tartare, avocado mousse and oscietta canape cone (£12). The flavour was off the charts! I could’ve eaten 10.

The also have a range of snacks, fresh juices, sundaes and of course, champagne for celebration or well, just champagne. Definitely check out the impressive menu on offer.

And you can have afternoon tea there (from £38pp).

Last, but not least, the spa itself. What a gorgeous haven or tranquility. I had a terrible day that Tuesday and very quickly it all got wiped away by such a great environment and people – service was professional, attentive, personal, warm and overall lovely; the people are the real assets there!

The lounge is an (insta) dream, the steam room is superb with a great shower, and the showers are amazing. And the toiletries are Malin+Goetz, so… Love.

You can check out all the spa treatments available, including massages, facials and body, including maternity specific ones. The range of products they use is also carefully curated to offer really bespoke, quality treatments. Well worth a visit.

For more info, visit the agua Spa website.

written by Dani

You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: I as invited to the spa, so this post contains some PR samples. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on them.

Step back to 1877 with Stella Artois Time Portal

We love London, right? And we love Wimbledon. Plus we have a penchant for all things Victorian…

No surprises then when Stella Artois, the official beer of Wimbledon, invited me to The Time Portal, an immersive theatre experience that took me back to Victorian London in the search of the first Wimbledon tournament, I couldn’t say no.

img_5056Under a cinema sign on Stoke Newington Road in Dalston, East London, I was taken into an adventure to help someone make their little tennis tournament known. And guess what? At the same time a certain beer, was also just starting out.

Full of one to one interactions, last night I stepped into a time machine, came off into a Victorian market and helped little pickpockets perform their tricks, solve a murder and give Scrooge peace of mind – all for the noble cause of helping Spencer Gore win the very first Wimbledon Championships and get the cup from Queen Victoria herself.

After my little adventure, I was transported to a bar where I quenched my thirst with some Stella Artois beer and cidre.

The whole experience was very dynamic, lively and a lot of fun, loaded with East London cheekiness, as well as nicely set – be prepared for that eastend rundown vibe.

For four days only, you can experience this trip back in time, by acclaimed theatre companies Olivier Award nominated Les Enfants Terribles and Framestore, especially commissioned by Stella Artois, that inspired me a bit to think how I’m making my own mark in the world.

The Time Portal run from 7-10 July and is priced from £13.50 – £18 (including a £1 booking fee), lasts 40 minutes and includes two complimentary drinks.

Of course, the bar will be open for business if fancy more!

You can book your tickets on the Stella Artois Time Portal site – and hurry, just like going back into the past, if you blink, you’ll miss this one!

signature1

Stella Artois kindly took me to 1877 – thanks! – but opinions are my own.